January 4, 2019

“Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?” – John 4:29

One of the great encounters in the gospel is between Jesus and the Samaritan woman he encountered at a well. Jesus and his disciples were traveling through the region of Samaria, a place that most Jews would never venture because of their disdain for the Samaritans. Jesus, not wanting to exclude anyone from His message of good news, traveled the direct route through the region and sat down to rest at the well, purchased by Jacob long ago.

At this well Jesus encounters a woman, whose name we never learn. They enter into a deep discussion that begins with Jesus asking for a drink and ends with Jesus telling the woman that he, indeed is the Messiah, the long-awaited Christ. It was a powerful conversation that brought life and hope to the woman at the well.

After her encounter with Jesus, the Samaritan woman left and went back to her city and said to everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done!” Often, we find ourselves focused on what the woman at the well had done.   I believe when we focus on the woman’s background we actually might be missing the point of the story. Jesus was not simply traveling through Samaria to point out a woman’s faults. He was there, and is everywhere to invite everyone into a new life and a new relationship with God.

The woman at the well is a story about a life redeemed and a relationship formed with God because Jesus was willing to be part of a conversation. Later, the woman at the well becomes one of the first major examples in John’s Gospel of a person who invites others to the same redeemed life and relationship with God. John tells us that after the woman went back to her city she invited others to “Come and see” and that many, “left the city and went to him.”

What a powerful story of relationship and invitation! To encounter Jesus. To experience God’s great love! When this happens for us, what other choice is there but to invite others to “Come and see?”

Rev. Keith King, Online Campus Pastor